Yesterday we had a few of our friend from the community in for some canapés and some drinks. We have been doing this for some time now, and the others in our group have done the same. Today I got thinking of how we got to Dreamview and why.
We had lived in a very nice house that overlooked a provincial park and a backwater of the Bow River in Deer Run in Calgary for some 18 years and we had seen some advertising on TV regarding a 50 plus community. We had been thinking of making a move anyway since we had noticed that we were looking at an increased amount of graffiti around. I had been the local guy for the Block Watch, and I was aware that an increase in graffiti activity was related in part to gang activity. Another thing we had noticed over the 18 years was that in spite of it being an upscale neighbourhood, painting was something that was being let go. It was time to move.
We had looked into Dream View previously, but the development had been too far away for us, but the new advertising was for a community much closer in, close to shopping, and easy access to all points of the city and highways. Phase 1 had just been completed and in fact many people had already moved in. There was an apartment building that would ultimately hold 45 apartments, 16 villas or townhouses that were mostly occupied, but had a couple still vacant so we could get a good idea of what they were like. Phase 2 with 41 apartments and 6 villas were being sold in that set up. Along with the completion of the phase 1, and amenity building was also being finished. Phase three made up of another 12 villas, and another apartment building with 52 apartments was yet to be built.
So we went to see this collection of condominium units. We were directed to the new amenity building, or clubhouse, where we were offered refreshments and were shown around by three young ladies who were already living in the Phase 1 apartments. This was great, a great building with all kinds of activity related equipment, and no swimming pool. Excellent!
Of the six villa units yet to be built, only 2 remained unsold. We put in our offer on what we thought was actually the best one of he six, and we were now the owners of a villa that was yet to be built. Construction started and we were excited to go and see the our home being built. In October of 1998 we finally moved into our new home. Two days after moving in, a party arranged by the Social Committee was put on in the clubhouse and of course we attended, since this was the kind of place we were looking for. The lady who chaired the Social Committee lived in the villa right across the road from us.
So we showed up for the event, and immediately found out that a Happy Hour was underway! Alright! The only problem was that we were not aware that alcohol was permitted, we were brand new to condo living and all the attendant rules. This problem also included the fact that even if I had wanted to bring some of my home made wine, it was way beyond reach in the back of our basement. I mentioned this to a chap named Brian Hannah, who was married to Maureen Hannah, the lady who chaired the Social Committee. Brian immediately said, “Ï think I can help with that, would you like red or white”? With that he reached down and opened a cooler with several bottles of wine, and presented one to us! I knew immediately that we had made the right move. The 3 ladies who had introduced us to the amenity center, were there as well.
Shortly after that the Hannah’s moved into a bigger house not more than 6 block away. Brian has since passed away. But I have never forgotten their kindness. Of the three ladies, all but one have moved away to an assisted living type of arrangement. The one who is still in the complex was over for our soiree yesterday. Included in this little group was a couple who moved into the Phase 2 apartments within days of our moving in. The other two couples were actually second and third owners who we met and enjoyed their company. So we have stayed with them as friends all this time.
Along the way my wife Joan and I worked with the community in a few different capacities. It was work, but you know, it was a lot of fun too. The entire community is kind of our home! Joan, a very quiet young lady was on several of the condo boards, culminating in being the Chair last year. She also chaired the Social Committee, sharing my view that this was absolutely imperative to having a community feeling. Early on, I was approached to use my skills with the Maintenance Committee, so for a while I managed that, then left it, came back to it, as a member, and again managed it. I was also a committee of one looking after our snow management. Right from the start, we had a community newspaper, the Scuttlebutt, and I edited and produce it for a number of years, taking it on as the third editor we have had. I did this for about 6 years.
I would not want you to think my wife and I were the only people who volunteered our time in here. No, we have had and still have to a lesser extent a very large volunteer base we draw on. Our Landscape Manager, has been on the job continuously since he moved in some time around 1999 or 2000! He is likely the hardest working person on the property! He is tireless! There are about 240 people living here at any given time, and of them we have 63 people volunteering for anything from Landscaping to being on the board to doing the recycle bottle collection for our landscape plant purchases. Fire wardens are volunteers on each floor of the 3 apartment buildings we now have. We have a Greeter lady who welcomes new residents, and another one who sends a get well card from the community should a resident wind up in the hospital. Some folks “Multitask” taking on more than one task. But does it ever give you a good feeling for our community! I have left some positions we have unmentioned, for space considerations, and if you read this and your position was not mentioned, I hope you understand why.
So, that is why we moved here. It is why we stay here, and we will have to be carried out, if we are lucky enough to get our way. The name has changed over the years. It is not Dream View any longer, it is now called Sienna Park Green Village. Sounds like a cemetery to me. But we loved it when we moved in, and love it now. It is a wonderful community with a ton of volunteers to make it stay that way. We have some wonderful friends in here, and a ton of people we know and love. There are a few ounces of people that we simply will never get along with, and we simply ignore them. But isn’t that the way of the world, let alone a small community like ours.
So that is how we got here, and why we stay here. We love the community and so many of the lovely people residing here.
Have a great day, Ross